What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Monday, Nov 7th 2022
woman in a store

Customer-centricity has become an essential focus for companies today.  One of the challenges to achieving customer-centricity is that departments in most organisations operate in silos. They are unaware of how or, in some cases, when each department has interacted with a customer. This prevents the organisation from providing a single seamless journey in line with customer expectations. 

It has become increasingly important for companies to invest time, money, and resources in properly developing journey maps. Integrating journey maps into your organisation’s platforms is critical so that every department is in sync with each customers’ journey and can deliver a great customer experience (CX).

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Creating a customer journey map is about documenting the steps that a customer takes from the start to the finish of their experience when interacting with your organisation.  Customer journey mapping provides a window into the overall CX.

At first glance, journey mapping may appear to be just an exercise in gaining information, understanding and tracking the behaviour of customers. But it’s also about nurturing and winning the customer’s business and loyalty by creating and delivering better and unique experiences at every interaction with your brand.   

Watch this video to learn about customer journey mapping.

demand generation strategy

Why is journey mapping important?

It’s critical that your customers enjoy their experience interacting with your business. They must relate to your brand and your relationship with them requires nurturing. If you can’t deliver this, they’ll buy from your competitor.   

This is the value of a journey map. It provides a consolidated view of customer touchpoints, connects the emotional aspects of brand interactions and enables users with tools to resolve pain points to create enjoyable experiences.  

Journey mapping considers deeper questions and touchpoints that drive consumer behaviour. A customer journey map asks: 

  • How well do you know your customers?  
  • How are they interacting with businesses?  
  • Which channels do they expect to communicate on? And when?  
  • What is the journey your customers want to take, and how is this different from the one you offer them?  
  • Are you equipped to meet them there?  
  • Do your employees understand how customers interact with your organisation?  

Answers to these questions empower you to tailor each customer’s experience, ultimately enticing a customer to continue their journey with your brand. Keep in mind that an effective journey map centers on the customer’s needs and desires - not your organisational structure or specific products. Customisation creates experiences that meet or exceed a customer’s wants - and it delights them.    

This is smart business today and it will prove valuable in the future.    

The benefits of customer journey mapping (CJM)

Mapping out the customer journey with a tool like Quadient’s Inspire Journey will enable you to transform the customer experience. Customer journey maps are about identifying broken experiences and then prioritising what to fix. Customer experience is optimised by changing to an outside–in perspective and this is what journey maps enable.

Customer journey maps:

  • Provide an overview of all touchpoints
  • Help businesses to understand where the CX is broken
  • Help businesses to focus on what matters most to their customers
  • Enable businesses to respond quicker
  • Enables collaboration
  • Are a tool to overcome organizational silos

Quadient’s Inspire Journey enables organisations to:

Deepen empathy with living, breathing customer dashboards

Comprehensive visualisation lets every employee experience a journey as a customer does, linking each touchpoint of the lifecycle in a global map. Cutting-edge collaborative design and dynamic mapping tools enable remote collaboration and orchestration across your entire enterprise.

Leverage data for powerful personalization

Inspire Journey is the only journey management solution that integrates data directly into maps to analye, inform and orchestrate personalised customer communications. Dynamically connect to every interaction point for accurate insights into each individual customer’s needs and track their journeys across all channels.

Identify the right actions at the right moment

Inspire Journey’s interactive tools maximize ROI by letting you identify critical touchpoints and prioritise the most impactful improvements for your transformation strategy.

Orchestrate exceptional experiences

With a deep contextual understanding of each customer's journey, your CX specialists are empowered to orchestrate unique experiences for every customer with data-driven next-best actions.

How customer journey management enhances your omnichannel CX/CCM   

It’s a fact – today's customers engage on multiple channels. The challenge is differentiating your organisation by enabling customers to self-select how they want to interact with your business. That’s the power that sophisticated customer journey mapping tools offer you.  

Since no single channel benefits customer experience alone, the goal of a robust CJM is integration across every channel (i.e., omnichannel.).  Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies, according to The Aberdeen Group.  

An omnichannel journey map enables you to anticipate customer’s needs in real-time, across every channel. These insights inform you when customers expect to switch channels - for example, a customer who starts an interaction on the phone and finishes it online, or via SMS. The result is increased customer engagement and satisfaction that generates profits.   

The value of your time and resource investment in Customer Journey Mapping

Implementing a customer journey management solution can require a significant cultural shift in addition to time and resource allocation. But experts say it’s well worth the investment.  

The future of business is consumer-driven and digitally expansive. CJM tools intelligently inform your CCM efforts to create a seamless, exceptional customer experience management (CXM) strategy.

As business communications evolve from CCM to CXM CJM will deepen its value as a critical process for ensuring excellent customer experience outcomes because it drives engagement, strengthens relationships and earns loyalty. Organisations that commit to enhancing customer experience now will see greater earning potential and the ability to stand out from competitors.  

The number one question is: does your organisation have the capability to understand existing and emerging customer journeys?

How to use a Customer Journey Map

Once you’ve mapped your customer’s journey, the next step is to analyse the journey in order to find ways to optimise it at every touchpoint.

To do this you’ll need to identify not only the points of friction within the various journeys, but also the points where you delight your customers. This is important because while you should endeavor to fix pain points, you should also look to replicate points in the journey where you meet or exceed customer expectations.

Review your journey maps to determine channel transitions that result in friction. When a customer transitions from one channel to another during their journey, the transition should be as effortless as possible. For example, if a customer purchases a product online but elects to pick it up in store or from a parcel locker, the retailer should ideally send the customer a barcode that can be scanned from a mobile device.

Six customer journey mapping best practices

Done right, customer journey mapping is a powerful tool that can transform the customer experience. But how can you be sure you are creating journey maps that are both useful and impactful (and won't collect dust on your boardroom wall)?

Here are six tips to ensure your journey maps are actionable and transformational.

  1. Use a digital mapping tool.

There’s nothing wrong with starting your maps with butcher paper and post-it notes and then transferring them online. But it’s much easier to start with a digital version and build from there. Digital tools facilitate sharing across the organisation and enable collaboration.

  1. Add artifacts.

This is important. Add documents, images, audio or video files, or other messaging formats to the map. This brings the journey to life and lets you confirm whether your messaging is streamlined, consistent, clear, and relevant to that point in time.

  1. Connect all the dots.

Don’t miss any steps. Make sure you capture all communications the customer receives throughout the journey.

       4. Go detailed.

When in doubt, more details are better. The more we know, the more steps documented, the better we understand the end-to-end customer journey.

       5. Assign ownership.

Assigning owners to each of the steps along the journey is critical to drive accountability and action.

       6. Connect to other systems.

The customer journey mapping tool should connect to your customer communications assets for easy online collaboration and change management.

Conclusion

Customer journey mapping is a critical component of the overall CX strategy. Yet it has often been criticised as pointless because, in many cases, the maps aren’t actionable. Linking CJM tools with your customer communications management (CCM) platform is critical to providing visibility into, and ultimately improving, the CX.